Do you feel your spiritual practice and your daily life don’t play well together? Are you swamped with so many options for spiritual teachings and practices that you don’t know what to choose?
We’ve designed this program for experienced practitioners who’d like to access more joy and freedom through a supported, regular spiritual practice. We created this program to help you leverage your practice to triumph over the ups and downs of daily life.
Note: Program starts January 1, 2016. Registration is now closed.
*If you were unable to register or are new to these teachings, you’re invited to weekly streaming teachings that take place throughout the year. See “What’s It Going to Take?” below for details.
We know that many of you have a regular spiritual practice and a strong aspiration. You probably also have a busy and complicated life, that makes it challenging to balance these involvements.
As a committed spiritual practitioner, we appreciate that you aspire to meditate and attend teachings and retreats regularly. You’re also committed to your career and your community, and perhaps a personal relationship. The competition between these worthy commitments and decisions about where to allocate your time and money and energy can be a source of vexation and even stress.
When trying to integrate dharma and our daily lives, most people invest a lot of themselves into serious practice, attend teachings and retreats, and find ways to apply dharma in their life and work. They practice and undertake Karma Yoga together with their sangha. They might even try to be satisfied with the status quo in other parts of their lives, such as work or family, which may feel not entirely under our control.
We can undertake many years of practice and still fall into unawakened habitual patterns in our daily lives (also known as primitive views, conflicting emotions, and a conditioned pull to “just get by”). By staying in touch with the teachers and teachings year-round, you get access to the ongoing clarity and truthfulness of the awakening mind, and build habits to keep awakening front and center on a daily basis.
As dharma teachers and practitioners, we aspire to exemplify what awakening looks like when we live it full time. In a sense, this is the Big Picture of what life is about.
We aspire to offer a source and role models of loving kindness, clarity and truthfulness, and to demonstrate awakening in action.
Then we can be a better resource, offering more loving kindness, more compassion and more wisdom to our sangha, family, friends and colleagues.
And let’s talk about the benefits for you of this year-long course.
The more time spent with awakening beings, the more we are awakening: this is what we call “the tuning fork principle.” This program is designed to tune up a community of practitioners, so that you can in turn help tune other members of our sangha. We’re going to make beautiful music together.
A year of consistent effort and application of dharma teachings and practice is sure to yield profound transformation: deeper realization, greater bliss, and fuller integration with our daily lives. Increased and ongoing focus on dharma is what inevitably leads us to fuller awakening. That’s something to be excited about.
You’ll enjoy stronger, more “dharmic” relationships with the community of practitioners. This will provide you with support throughout the year and beyond. There’s good reason that Sangha – the community of practitioners – is one of the Triple Gems.
We’ll teach throughout the year on our emerging pillars of Dharma Training, Karma Yoga and Dāna, so you’ll be among the best informed regarding these teachings and practices, so revolutionary for the West.
As always we’ll be integrating traditional Buddhist philosophy with modern findings in psychology, science, and organizational development. This will empower you to share dharma with your friends and colleagues, in an accessible way that’s relevant to them as well as you.
Lastly, the program has been carefully crafted with the typically full modern life in mind. The homework is chosen as a trim tab to get the maximum amount of leverage in your life and work and relationships, with a minimum amount of time and energy. This is designed to be a highly sustainable spiritual practice.
Over the past several years we’ve seen that practitioners benefit from ongoing support to keep our dharma training vibrant, and our practice alive and practically relevant in our day-to-day lives. We’ve also seen the need for support to keep local sanghas dynamic and growing.
To this end we crafted this year-long course with minimal homework and maximum support for your spiritual practice. The majority of it is online so that you can do it in the comfort of your own environment, saving time and money and travel. The year-round schedule means that you don’t need to spend time and energy deciding what you are going to study and when – we do that for you. It’s also spread out over the year so that you can have support for your practice year-round, while not demanding too much of your time at once. At the same time, the course provides context for an ongoing spiritual involvement that makes it a central pillar of your life.
We see this year-long program as a transition to a more developed curriculum, with clearer steps and stages and milestones.
The streaming classes in particular are designed to dovetail with activities you undertake with your local sangha. They can be viewed together as a weekly sangha class, or your sangha gatherings may be used for group discussion regarding the streaming topics. Or, depending on your personal and sangha spiritual goals and resources available, the streamings may be an addition to your sangha gatherings.
*Check your local date and time.
-Apr 25 – May 16 Teachings on assigned Mahayana sutras
-Aug 8 – Aug 29 Teachings on the four levels of Tantra
-Nov 7 – Nov 28 Teachings on The Womb, Karma and Transcendence
Doug Duncan is a Canadian-born Dharma teacher and counselor who has traveled, studied and meditated for most of his life. He has taught and founded centers for awakening in Japan and Canada as well as being a visiting teacher in many other countries. Known for his direct and compassionate engagement with students, Doug embraces the full spectrum of the various traditions he employs – in particular the different Buddhist vehicles, psychology, neuroscience, Western mysteries – in order to mentor beings to a more awakened state. His great sense of humour, caring attitude and sometimes very direct involvement makes him an effective catalyst for opening the shadow, for very practical application of the teachings, for humorous and gentle relief when tensions mount and through a diverse range of explorations expands the teachings to include all aspects of life.
Catherine Pawasarat has developed awakening for the alleviation of suffering for all beings by training daily with awakening master Doug Duncan Sensei since 1997. She lived in Kyoto, Japan for twenty years, studying the traditional Japanese arts and working as an advocacy journalist, interpreter/translator and editor specializing in sustainability. She spent a year studying shamanism in the Brasilian Amazon before beginning her intensive dharma apprenticeship with Doug Duncan Sensei in 1997. With Doug Sensei and other students, Catherine helped found Dharma Japan and the Clear Sky Retreat Centre in Canada. In particular Catherine focuses on dharma training and how sustainability figures in the practices of awakening and vice versa. Her diverse and multi-disciplinary talents enable her to serve the Clear Sky board as their Chief Visionary Officer.